The X Factor At Anse Chastanet, St Lucia

Did you spot the hotel resort in tonight’s episode of X Factor? Tulisa Contostavlos, and her entourage chose to film and scrutinise her contestant’s vocal talent in style at the gorgeous Anse Chastanet, St Lucia. We spoke with Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet owner, Karolin Troubetzkoy, who gave us the exclusive insight into Tulisa and the X Factor’s experience filming at Anse Chastanet.

“When you’re holidaying at Jade Mountain St Lucia, things tend to be pretty quiet as everyone is either relaxing in their infinity pool, exploring the ocean floor, scuba diving, zip lining, mountain biking, or experiencing a variety of other activities. So when guests heard a squeal of excitement break the calm serenity of the resort, there was a huge temptation to peer through sanctuary doors to see what all the commotion was about. There in front of the resort was Tulisa and her entourage.”  Had X Factor really come to Anse Chastanet? Guests holidays suddenly were all about keeping up with the goings on of the X Factor!


Day 1

Several lucky guests had dinner at Trou au Diable, the delicious beach restaurant at Anse Chastanet, where they sat next to the judges. The contestants were off to bed early after dinner whilst guests danced away into the night at Anse Chastanet as the local steel band continued to entertain into the wee hours.

Day 2

Guests could see the camera crew filming Tulisa crossing the bridge into her sanctuary as the contestants were being filmed walking up and down the beach. In the afternoon the contestants had more hard work ahead of them as the judges were dispatched off on a half day yacht cruise around the glorious Pitons.

Day 3

Everyone had had a great time down at the beach with standing room only in the beachbar! On the way to breakfast guests were serenaded by the contestants as they warmed up (singing that is). And hey, there was a new face at breakfast: Dermot O’Leary arrived! But we couldn’t hang around… Zip wiring, diving and spa treatments await!

For the faint hearted that want to appear ‘warrior brave’– the Zip Wire at Morne Coubaril Estate is just the ticket, picturesque with views over the Pitons, Mount Gimie (highest peak in St Lucia at just over 3,000 ft), lush rainforest and water traps.

A return to Jade Mountain and X Factor was in full swing as contestants; one by one nervously climb the steps to the Jade Mountain Club and eventually up to the Celestial Terrace for the make or break moment.

Day 4

The crew we hear were up for a 3am breakfast – the last day and results day – a real dilemma for us – half want to go to the beach and half want to see who’s got through – eventually some sort of compromise is reached: for the first 4 hours we stay indoors sneaking a peak and  the last 2 we head down to the beach from our top floor sanctuary while still occasionally craning our necks for a view. So there it is we’ve seen it: 2 are clearly through, 2 are inconsolable and in true X Factor fashion 2 wouldn’t tell! By 1.30pm it’s all over and they’re on their way back to the airport. Later we catch up with the gossip – some of which must be of course is said in the old travel saying: what happens away, stays away! But now we know who really did get through and one of the unlucky ones who through floods of tears confessed her love for Anse Chastanet and promises this is where she is to be married!

So I will leave the surprise of who ended up going through to tonight’s episode, I for one will enjoy revisiting the beauty that was Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain in St Lucia.

A Private View: Prism Cabinet at Andaz Liverpool Street

“A preview of Prism Cabinet in the Masonic Temple at Andaz Liverpool Street”…the beautifully designed invitation sounded mysterious…intriguing…unmissable!

After practising our secret handshakes, and joined by press including Dezeen, Sunday Times Style, Wallpaper, Shortlist and InStyle, the Grifco team headed along to an exclusive preview of Prism Cabinet, a satellite installation of Veuve Clicquot Prism at the V&A, a must-see highlight of the 2012 London Design Festival programme. Held in the Masonic Temple at Andaz Liverpool Street, which was dramatically candlelit for the occasion, the event kicked off LDF 2012 perfectly last week. We mingled with a hip design and media crowd over chilled Veuve Cliquot and admired the striking piece in the inspiring surroundings until late.

On show in the Temple last Thursday evening before being moved to its LDF location in the Andaz Lounge, Prism Cabinet for Veuve Clicquot and Andaz Liverpool Street has been developed and constructed by designers Studio Swine and Keiichi Matsuda, who held an enlightening Q&A with journalist Marie Le Fort at the event on the 13th.

A beautifully designed wooden cabinet opens its doors to reveal its “augmented contents” – a glowing hologram, linked to Veuve Clicquot Prism at the V&A. Appearing as a giant suspended iceberg set into the V&A’s uppermost cupola, the sculpture is lit up like a lantern, displaying live data flows on different aspects of the installation via internal projectors. Data such as the number of Boris bikes in use from a certain docking point, to the amount of electricity used by Number 10, has an effect on the visual appearance of the Prism.

After checking out Prism Cabinet at Andaz Liverpool Street, we are definitely hot-footing it down to the V&A to see the Prism in the flesh! Be warned though – tickets are selling out fast.

Intrigued, but missed out on tickets to the V&A installation? You can still admire the Prism, through Prism Cabinet at Andaz Liverpool Street, which is open to all.

An Evening With Park Hyatt

After months of preparation, canapé deliberation and champagne tasting, all was in place and the much anticipated Park Hyatt Event was finally upon us. Last night we were pleased to welcome 29 General Managers from Park Hyatt hotels across the globe, as well as a host of special guests, including Britain’s finest travel writers, Elle McPherson, Simon and Yasmin Le Bon, Lisa Maxwell and Alice Beer, for an exquisite evening held at the esteemed HamiltonsGallery in Mayfair.

As a fond follower of the Park Hyatt brand, gallery owner Tim Jefferies kindly opened his doors for this exclusive event, adorning walls with an especially curated collection of artworks including iconic pieces such as Irving Penn’s Cigarettes, Richard Avedon’s Dovima With Elephants and Helmut Newton’s photograph of Elsa Peretti in a bunny costume.

With a strong emphasis on art at the heart of the Park Hyatt brand, Hamiltonswas the perfect location for this special occasion providing an elegant and sophisticated back drop for a perfect evening.

Throughout the event Billecart- Salmon Brut Rose and Blanc de Blanc Brut champagne flowed as guests and General Managers mingled; many holidays were planned, honeymoons inspired and a couple of elaborate PR ideas were born…watch this space!

Chef, Jean Francois Rouquette from Park Hyatt Paris- Vendome and Chef Andrea Aprea from Park Hyatt Milan flew over to London for the event representing Park Hyatt chefs from around the world with a recipe book of delicious canapés created and collated especially for the event offering ‘Kamchatka Crab Bruschettafrom Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow; ‘Foie Gras Lolliops, Grapes Gelee and Yoghurt Flakes’ from Park Hyatt Paris Vendome; ‘Yuzu Marinated Salmon’ from Park Hyatt Tokyo; ‘Beef Tartare with Quail Egg and Summer Truffle’ from the Park Hyatt Milan and to finish a delectable ‘Chocolate Crème with Carrot- Orange Jelly and White Chocolate Crumble’ from the Park Hyatt Zurich. Needless to say there was not a leftover in sight!

As the evening came to an end, guests began to leave in a champagne haze dreaming of their next Park Hyatt holiday and clutching their goody bags containing a beautiful box of gift certificates, kindly donated by the Park Hyatt General Managers, exclusively for the evening’s guests.

My feet may still be throbbing from wearing 6 inch stilettos but it was worth it!!